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Shimul cotton trees of Nilphamari vanishing rapidly

May '07
Shimul Flower
The trees of Shimul, (silk cotton), the Bombax ceiba, of family Bombacaceae, a specialty of Bangladesh, which are found in almost every district of this country are slowly vanishing from the region.

Condition is such, that in Nilphamari, the district in Rajshahi Division, Shimul trees are often sold to wood traders, because of its great usage and demand.

Shimul trees have multiple uses like its wood can be used in match industries for making match boxes and match splints and also for packing cases, toys, second grade pencils, planking. Cotton is used for making good quality pillow, bed, and mattress. Gum of the plant and roots have some medicinal value.

Currently, pillows and mattresses of the country are prepared from artificial cotton, made of small and unusable cut pieces of fabrics, collected from the ready-made garment industries of Dhaka and Chittagong and the use of shimul cotton has heavily decreased.

Government is taking no initiative to save this traditional source of cotton from fading away. Local people are showing concern about this situation and demanded that Forest Department plant new shimul trees and take proper care of them.

A Shimul cotton tree can produce 50 kg of cotton and one kg cotton is sold at Tk150.

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